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COLLEGE OF EDUCATION
Reappointment, Promotion and Tenure and Post-Tenure Review Guidelines
A Supplement to University Trustee Regulations and UNIREGS
The strength of the College of Education lies in the quality of its faculty and students. Decisions regarding faculty reappointment, promotion, tenure, post-tenure review and salary increases directly impact the quality of programmatic offerings; the reputation of our programs; and our ability to recruit and retain highly qualified faculty. Faculty members in the college take seriously the responsibility of maintaining high standards. These responsibilities begin with the recruitment and selection of faculty members and continue throughout each faculty member's professional career.
University of Wyoming UniRegs and the University Trustee Regulations provide general guidelines and procedures for evaluating all University of Wyoming faculty members involved in the reappointment, tenure, promotion and post-tenure process. The integrity of the evaluation process depends on thoughtful peer and administrative review of faculty performance divorced from personal feelings emanating from positive or negative interactions. The purpose of this supplementary document is to articulate College of Education expectations to serve as complementary guidelines to faculty candidates, faculty considering their peers for promotion and tenure, appropriate administrators, and the College and University Promotion and Tenure Committees. The primary areas of Teaching, Research and Professional Service are elaborated.
The following principles guide evaluation of College of Education teaching endeavors:
- Effective teaching is necessary for success as a College of Education faculty member.
- Effective teachers are lifelong learners who continue to improve their teaching skills, their scholarly depth, and their ability to structure productive learning environments. This growth begins when faculty members are hired and identify specific teaching goals. Faculty members continue to refine and improve their teaching throughout their academic careers.
- Evaluation of teaching effectiveness is complex. It requires input from multiple sources as well as review of teaching/learning artifacts such as syllabi, assessment measures and student work. Formal teaching evaluation instruments used in the College of Education and summarized in faculty members portfolios include: 1) Student evaluation www.uwyo.edu/coe 2) Self evaluation; 3) Peer observation; and Administrator observation. Review and analysis of this feedback can provide valuable information for evaluating teaching effectiveness and for identifying annual teaching goals. In assessing an individual faculty member's contributions to teaching consideration should be given to:
- Academic rigor and assessment measures that hold students to high standards, and discriminate among levels of student performance.
- Effective use of assessments and assignments to meet clear learning goals.
- Ability to use a repertoire of effective teaching strategies including appropriate technological tools.
- Ability to engage students effectively in the learning process.
- Growth as a teacher including use of up-to-date content and pedagogy.
- Some faculty may choose to pursue teaching grants that will help them to revise curriculum, refine assessments, update technology, and change content to reflect new research. Obtaining and successfully completing teaching grants will be considered as an asset in assessing the faculty member's teaching performance.
- Advising undergraduate and graduate students and directing theses, dissertations and plan B papers complement and overlap teaching responsibilities. In assessing an individual faculty member's contributions weight should be given to: 1) Feedback obtained from the university-conducted student evaluation of advisors; 2) the percentage of graduate students who complete their degree in a timely fashion and the quality of graduate student work; and, 3) the number of student advisees served.
Awards for teaching and advising are indicators of teaching excellence. Consideration of the criteria, nomination and selection processes of special awards should impact the weight given to these honors.
The following principles guide evaluation of College of Education research endeavors:
- Successful researchers demonstrate consistent productivity over the course of their academic careers with annual evidence of scholarly contributions. This begins when faculty members are hired and establish their research goals. These goals should include defining one or more areas of scholarship upon which to focus, targeting key outlets for dissemination of research findings, and constructing an implementation time line. These goals should be revisited and updated on an annual basis. While professional review and revision processes may result in an uneven publication record in any one calendar year; the critical factor is that the faculty member's research result in a steady, robust set of contributions over time.
- In assessing an individual faculty member's scholarly accomplishments greater weight should be assigned to works of exceptional quality as evidenced by the reputation of the publishing house, journal, conference, or granting agency, the impact of the work on the profession, the quality of the review process, and the nature of awards/honors resulting from scholarly contributions to the field.
- A combination of diverse scholarly publications appropriate for faculty in the College of Education includes scholarly books and edited volumes (those that go through a critical assessment, both before and after publication), contributions to edited volumes and manuscripts in refereed journals. Manuscripts in regional or non-refereed journals are appropriate outlets for dissemination but don't necessarily carry the weight of nationally refereed or highly regarded publications.
- Some faculty may choose to pursue extramural funding through grants and contracts that provides support to accomplish targeted research goals. Success at obtaining competitive external research funding provides an additional measure of the importance of a faculty member's work and will be considered an asset in assessing the faculty member's performance. Grants should lead to publication of results in order to carry the weight of scholarship.
- Refereed papers presented at national and regional professional conferences and manuscripts included in related conference proceedings provide a more immediate avenue for disseminating research results and are indications of scholarly productivity. Quality presentations delivered in these contexts can lead to important connections and networking opportunities with other national and international scholars as well as to increased visibility. Although these presentations, papers and conference proceedings do not carry the weight of publications they are valued venues for disseminating research and may provide the foundation for a manuscript submitted for publication in a book, edited volume or journal.
- Educational scholarship encompasses a variety of forms of scholarly inquiry with respected publishing and dissemination opportunities. Knowledge of how people learn, knowledge of how people develop and identification of factors that affect this development is central to any education enterprise. Exploring, testing, and advancing strategies, materials, pedagogies and support structures critical to effective learning are all essential to maintain the social, political and cultural underpinnings necessary for functioning societies. Advancing, investigating, interpreting, synthesizing, translating and applying this evolving knowledge base can all result in highly regarded scholarly contributions to the field of education.
The context and complexity of questions in the field of education often necessitate collaboration among education professionals. Such collaboration can enrich the investigation and may result in joint authorship in dissemination of papers and publications. Evaluation of the individual faculty member's contribution to such co-authored publications can be difficult for others to assess. It is assumed that the order of authors in the bibliographic entry indicates a relative level of contribution. It is important for any faculty member to publish some scholarly works as first or single author as s/he progresses through his/her professional career.
The following principles guide evaluation of College of Education professional service endeavors:
- Faculty contributions to professional service are necessary for sustaining and advancing the teaching and research mission of the College of Education and are essential for effective functioning of College of Education governing structures. These professional service commitments begin when a faculty member joins the college. These responsibilities will change over the course of an individual's academic career.
- Service contributions necessary to support the teaching enterprise encompass a broad range of activities such as active participation in curricular articulation and revision, mentoring younger faculty members and graduate teaching assistants, delivering professional workshops and providing consultation to in-service professionals.
- Service contributions necessary to sustain a community of scholars cover a diverse array of activity including reviewing manuscripts, editing journals, organizing conferences, service in professional societies, writing book reviews, serving as an external referee in tenure and promotion cases, and participating in national review panels.
- Active participation in departmental and college meetings, in unit decision making processes and in related department and college committee work is expected of each faculty member.
- Faculty service on university committees provides opportunities for collaboration with colleagues across the university and gives the college a voice in university level governance.
- In assessing an individual faculty member's contributions to professional service, consideration should be given to:
- Evidence of a consistent record of professional service proportional to the time allocation in the faculty member's job description.
- The extent of the faculty member's participation in the activity.
- The degree to which the activity contributes to the teaching and research missions of the college and university.
- The degree to which the contribution supports effective governance of the college and university.
- Some faculty may choose to pursue grants that expand and refine their professional service, such as funding assistantship help, or service work on professional journals. Such grants will be considered an asset in the assessment of the faculty member's service contributions.
The typical job description in the College of Education is Teaching 65% (15 credit hours); Advising 5% (30 undergraduate/graduate students); Research 25%; and Professional Service 5%. Variations may exist among different faculty members, to accommodate different roles and institutional needs. Faculty members in all phases of the tenure, promotion and post-tenure review process are expected to demonstrate a consistent record of productivity proportional to time allocations defined in each area of the job description. Because satisfactory or above ratings in all defined categories are necessary conditions of continued employment, it is imperative that each faculty member set realistic goals and boundaries within each area of responsibility. Temptations to exceed expectations in one area at the expense of satisfactory performance in another area should be avoided.
Research universities rely on self-motivated faculty members and expect a career commitment to effective teaching, professional service and serious scholarship that will contribute to the national and international knowledge base.
Beginning Assistant Professors
A faculty member entering the profession focuses on developing solid career aspirations and a course for personal attainment of these goals. Most faculty members receive a reduced teaching load during their first year to provide the opportunity to focus on a major teaching responsibility and to develop a solid research agenda. Beginning assistant professors often continue on work related to their doctoral dissertation and may publish one or two referred articles building on that research or related investigations.
Continuing Assistant Professors
Continuing assistant professors demonstrate a capacity to publish refereed work. They begin establishing and building networks - including presentations at respected national/international conferences and various levels of collaboration with scholars investigating similar areas. Effective teaching and attention to evaluative feedback to improve teaching is evident. In the third or fourth year faculty may move from active participation on graduate student committees to serving as the chair of a graduate student committee. Some assistant professors submit external grant proposals often beginning as a collaborator with an established PI. Participation in department and college committee work is expected. Assistant professors frequently participate in other professional service related to teaching and scholarship such as serving as a referee for a journal or participation in professional organizations.
Tenure and Promotion from Assistant to Associate Professor.
Evidence of national or international recognition is part of the faculty member's record. When the candidate comes forward for promotion and tenure the record should include several (three to six) refereed scholarly publications along with a record of national presentations and/or other types of publications (book reviews, conference proceedings, book manuscripts, etc). The precise numbers are not as important as the assessment that the candidate has demonstrated a growing national reputation outside the University in the candidate's area of expertise. Evidence of effective teaching is necessary to achieve tenure. Faculty members at this level should work effectively with graduate students and demonstrate the ability to successfully supervise graduate students to timely attainment of their degree. Professional service includes some contributions outside the departmental and college level.
Promotion from Associate to Full Professor
The promotion to the rank of full professor is not a reward for longevity. Professors shall have demonstrated superior capacity for direction of graduate work and graduate research, have attained wide recognition in their professional fields for scholarship, and shall have gained recognition as teachers and as consistent contributors to the fields in which they render University service. Faculty aspiring to this highest academic rank must show a consistent record of research contributions as well as a commitment to import ideas from these contributions into their teaching. Faculty with a lack of scholarly output even with a job description that does not include a significant research component are not viewed as eligible for the rank of full professor.
Post-tenure reviews are conducted at the Department level. Faculty members who have previously received tenure are expected to continue to be productive in all areas of their job description. Faculty should continue to be productive researchers in their academic discipline. Faculty with a lack of scholarly output or unsatisfactory teaching performance after attaining tenure will be given a rating of "Performing below expectations" and will be subject to procedures created for this process in UNIREG 808.